There are many different conditions that can cause heel pain, but one looms larger than all the others: plantar fasciitis. The most common form of heel pain in adults, it’s estimated that around 1 in 10 people will experience an episode at least once in their lives. Although some cases are mild and resolve quickly with rest, others can linger for much longer and prevent you from living your life the way you want to.
What Is Plantar Fasciitis and What Causes It?
From heel to toe, the entire bottom (sole) of your foot is crossed by a thick band of tissue called the plantar fascia. Under normal circumstances, this tissue helps support the arch and may be responsible for bearing about 15 percent of the total force loads on your feet.
However, repetitive stress can cause the plantar fascia to swell and tear, and the underside of the heel is particularly vulnerable. There’s no single cause, but contributing factors can include frequent athletic participation, poor footwear choices, obesity, jobs where you work on your feet all day, and even gait abnormalities or structural problems with your feet.
What Are the Most Common Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?
The symptoms of this condition can vary, but plantar fasciitis frequently makes itself known as a sharp, stabbing pain located either underneath your heel or just in front of it.
Probably the most famous (or infamous) sign of plantar fasciitis is pain that spikes right after getting up from a chair or out of bed in the morning. Those first few steps can be miserable, but after a few minutes the fascia lengthens a bit and the pain is reduced to a more tolerable level. Pain spikes also frequently occur after long periods of standing or after a physical activity, though not always during the activity itself.
How Do You Treat Plantar Fasciitis?
At Omega Medical Group (OMG), we offer a variety of treatment options focused on getting you on your feet fast and keeping you as active as possible throughout the recovery period. We know you don’t have time to slow down! Of course, we’ll begin with a thorough examination to confirm a diagnosis—many different heel pain conditions can produce similar symptoms.
Physical therapy is a common component of treatment. We’ll help guide you through stretches and exercises meant to lengthen the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon, as well as strengthen the muscles in your lower legs. Both are key to eliminating pain. Furthermore, we may set you up with some splints to wear at night that will help keep your plantar fascia elongated while you sleep.
For plantar fasciitis pain that’s more stubborn or chronic, we are also proud to offer more advanced conservative therapies. These include:
- Total contact custom orthotics to correct foot posture and provide extra support
- Platelet-rich plasma therapy
- Clarix Flo amniotic tissue therapy
We pride ourselves on our personalized solutions and our commitment to taking as much time as you need in office to go over your condition and treatment options. We want you to be comfortable, confident, and educated, because that way you know you are getting the best care! To schedule your appointment with us today, please call (305) 514-0404.